„I was reminded of a quotation by the famous American physicist Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist. Weinberg said: "Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it, you'd have good people doing good things, and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion."“
— Richard Dawkins English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author 1941
The Root of All Evil? (January 2006), Part 2, 00:35:01
„Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.“
— Steven Weinberg American theoretical physicist 1933
Address at the Conference on Cosmic Design, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C. (April 1999) This comment is modified in a later article derived from these talks: :Frederick Douglass told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham. Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God's will. With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion. :* "A Designer Universe?" at PhysLink.com http://www.physlink.com/Education/essay_weinberg.cfm
— Edmund Burke Anglo-Irish statesman 1729 - 1797
Disputed, This is probably the most quoted statement attributed to Burke, and an extraordinary number of variants of it exist, but all without any definite original source. They closely resemble remarks known to have been made by the Utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill, in an address at the University of St. Andrew (1 February 1867) http://books.google.com/books?id=DFNAAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA36&dq=%22Bad+men+need+nothing+more+to+compass+their+ends,+than+that+good+men+should+look+on+and+do+nothing%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RUh5U6qWBLSysQT0vYGAAw&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22Bad%20men%20need%20nothing%20more%20to%20compass%20their%20ends%2C%20than%20that%20good%20men%20should%20look%20on%20and%20do%20nothing%22&f=false : Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. The very extensively used remarks attributed to Burke might be based on a paraphrase of some of his ideas, but he is not known to have ever declared them in so succinct a manner in any of his writings. It has been suggested that they may have been adapted from these lines of Burke's in his Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents http://oll.libertyfund.org/Texts/LFBooks/Burke0061/SelectWorks/HTMLs/0005-01_Pt02_Thoughts.html (1770): "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." (see above) :This purported quote bears a resemblance to the narrated theme of Sergei Bondarchuk's Soviet film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, produced in 1966. In it the narrator declares "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing", although since the original is in Russian various translations to English are possible. This purported quote also bears resemblance to a quote widely attributed to Plato, that said "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." It also bears resemblance to what Albert Einstein wrote as part of his tribute to Pablo Casals: "The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it." : More research done on this matter is available at these two links: Burkequote http://www.tartarus.org/~martin/essays/burkequote.html & Burkequote2 http://www.tartarus.org/~martin/essays/burkequote2.html — as the information at these links indicate, there are many variants of this statement, probably because there is no known original by Burke. In addition, an exhaustive examination of this quote has been done at the following link: QuoteInvestigator http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/12/04/good-men-do/.
— David Gemmell, livro Quest for Lost Heroes
Drenai series, Quest for Lost Heroes, Ch. 10
— Pythagoras ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher -585 - -495 a.C.
As quoted in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, as translated by Robert Drew Hicks (1925) Variant translation: The most momentous thing in human life is the art of winning the soul to good or evil. As quoted in Ionia, a Quest (1954) by Freya Stark, p. 94
„Ultimately evil is done not so much by evil people, but by good people who do not know themselves and who do not probe deeply.“
— Reinhold Niebuhr American protestant theologian 1892 - 1971
— Elizabeth Barrett Browning English poet, author 1806 - 1861
Aurora Leigh http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/barrett/aurora/aurora.html (1857), Book II.
„If, on the contrary, arms are taken up in a selfish struggle to win land, goods, people, and the implements of war, is it not the worst of all evils, the most heinous of all offenses?“
— Yoshida Shoin Japanese politician 1830 - 1859
Context: Those who take up the science of war must not fail to master the [Confucian] Classics. The reason is that arms are dangerous instruments and not necessarily forced for good. How can we safely entrust them to any but those who have schooled themselves in the precepts of the Classics and can use these weapons for the realization of Humanity and Righteousness? To quell violence and disorder, to repulse barbarians and brigands, to rescue living souls from agony and torture, to save the nation from imminent downfall-these are the true ends of Humanity and Righteousness. If, on the contrary, arms are taken up in a selfish struggle to win land, goods, people, and the implements of war, is it not the worst of all evils, the most heinous of all offenses? If, further, the study of offensive and defensive warfare, of the way to certain victory in all encounters, is not based on those principles which should govern their employment, who can say that such venture will not result in just such a misfortune? Therefore, I say that those who take up the science of war must not fail to master the Classics. Vol. II.
„The sad truth of the matter is that most evil is done by people who never made up their minds to be or do either evil or good.“
— Hannah Arendt, livro The Life of the Mind
The Life of the Mind (1978), "Thinking".
„The proper function of a government is to make it easy for the people to do good, and difficult for them to do evil.“
— Daniel Webster, The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster: Diplomatic Papers and Miscellaneous Letters